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Fujifilm X-Pro1 joins growing range of CSCs

David Ludlow
9 Jan 2012
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New interchangeable lens system for enthusiasts

Fujifilm has become the latest company to release a Compact System Camera with interchangeable lenses with the introduction of its X-Mount lens system and X-PRO1 camera.

The basic styling and concept of the camera is similar to existing models from rivals including Panasonic, Sony and Olympus, with a mirror-less system creating a smaller camera body than is possible with a DSLR, yet producing similar image quality.

Fujifilm X-Pro1

Fujifilm's X-Pro1 is a new type of CSC, with a brand-new sensor type.

Fujifilm claims that its brand-new 16-megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor is capable of producing better resolution images than other APS-C sensors and even than some full-frame models.

This boost in quality is led by the way the sensor is redesigned to remove the need for a low-pass filter. On a traditional sensor, the low-pass filter reduces moiré and false colour information generated, but can degrade resolution.

Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor takes its innovation from the random grain in film. It uses RGB pixels in 6x6 pixel sets with high aperiodicity (randomness). It's this random positioning of the RGB pixels that erases the fundamental causes of moiré and false colour. With an R, G and B pixel in every vertical and horizontal pixel set, false colours are minimised. In order to process these 6x6 pixel sets Fujifilm has had to use a more powerful processor, the EXR Processor Pro.

Fujifilm X-Pro1 front

The short flange back distance should help improve picture quality, as the rear of the lens sits closer to the sensor.

Fujifilm also believes that its entire mount design helps improve quality. A short flange back distance of 17.7mm puts the rear lens elements as close to the sensor improving light onto the sensor and ensuring the highest resolution into the corners of the sensor.

Fujifilm X-Pro1 lenses

Three prime lenses will be available at launch, although more models, including zooms, will be launched throughout the year.

To go with the new camera are three new prime lenses: The XF18mmF2 R (27mm equivalent) f/2.0, XF 35mmF1.4 R (53mm equivalent) f/1.4, and XF60mmF2.4 R Macro (90mm equivalent) F/2.4 are all designed to be fast and bright.

All of the lenses can also transmit the focal length. F-number, angle of incidence and more, allowing the camera to better process the shots based on the lens attached. Fujifilm also plans to introduce zoom lenses and a wide-angle 14mm lens in the future.

Interestingly, the camera has a hybrid viewfinder that lets users switch between optical and electronic modes. The optical mode gives the brightest mode and lowest shutter lag; the electronic viewfinder displays more information, including exposure and depth of field indicators.

Switching to the optical mode automatically adjusts the viewfinder's magnification to match the focal length of the lens, as this isn't a through-the-lens system, but a separate set of optics.

Should you want to use the electronic viewfinder, it has 1.44-million pixel screen, while the rear LCD has a 1.23-million pixel display. Both have a high pixel count and should look sharp.

We only had a short time to look at the body, but it looks well made. It's a little chunkier than you might expect, especially when compared to the small bodies being churned out by the competition, although it's still significantly smaller than a DSLR.

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 certainly isn't going to be cheap, though. Final pricing hasn't been announced, but it's expected that the body will cost around $1,700 (around £1,100) while the lenses will cost around $650 (around £421) each. The release date has not been announced yet.

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